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12 Best Trail Cameras Worth the Money (2022)

A quality trail camera is a wonderful tool for observing nature without being seen. A good trail camera should be discreet, affordable, have a fast trigger speed, clear image quality, and a price tag which reflects its value. The following are a few of our favorite choices for trail cameras!

We Recommend

Best Trail Camera

Stealth Cam

Best That Money Can Get

Reconyx Hyperfire 2

Best Cellular Option

Spartan GoCam

Best Trail Camera

1. Stealth Cam 30 Megapixel Ultra-Hi Res/4K Ultra HD Video/42 STC-DS4K

trail camera on a white background

The super hunter trail camera by Stealth is a well-reviewed piece of equipment which boasts 4K HD video quality for capturing nature in fine detail.

The Stealth Cam comes equipped with a 30-megapixel camera and can manage highly detailed shots even in the dark.

The camera comes with IR flash and a trigger range of up to 100 feet allowing you to capture fast moving game at speeds of just 0.3 seconds to trigger. The Stealth Cam is excellent for long distance observation and very affordable considering the image quality and features that it boasts.

This device can support up to 32GB of memory card. There are 42 different IR emitters that the night camera has and they can produce crystal clear images even in the dark. The camera also features blur reduction technology.

For security, the night and low-light performance of this camera is a huge plus. The Stealth Cam excels at capturing high quality videos with speed and accuracy.


What we liked

  • 30 MP camera sensor
  • Swift trigger speed
  • Clear images in the dark
  • Burst mode shoots up to 9 photos
  • 4K HD ultra video recording
  • IR non-glow emitter for stealth imaging in the dark
  • Geo-tagging available

What we didn’t like

  • No wireless connectivity

Wireless: No
Megapixel: 32 MP
Illumination: 100 feet
PIR Range: 30.5 meters
Resolution: 12 MP
Video: 720p
Flash range: 100 feet
Trigger speed: 0.3 seconds

2. RECONYX Hyperfire 2 Professional Covert IR Trail Camera

trail camera on a white background

Reconyx Hyperfire 2 trail camera is designed to capture motion with lightning speed. The Hyperfire 2 is amongst the best options on the market for motion sensing.

It is a great option for short ranging imaging as it comes equipped with a 3 MP camera sensor. With support for a 512GB memory card, you will never run out of space to save your media. Compared with the previous entry, the Hyperfire can store sixteen times the data.

This game camera is great for working in various conditions because its operable temperature ranges from -4F to 140F. It has a trigger speed of 0.2 seconds, which is the fastest available trigger speed.

The video resolution of the Hyperfire 2 is not as sharp or clear as some of the other entries on this list, however this tool can handle hours and hours of surveillance without missing a bit of the action. For long-term surveillance, the Hyperfire 2’s hefty storage capacity is an absolute must.


What we liked

  • Operable in various conditions
  • Great outdoor option
  • Long-distance flash range
  • Good battery timing
  • Supports up to 512GB of memory
  • Very fast trigger speed
  • Excellent for wildlife observation and research

What we didn’t like

  • Limited camera range
  • Higher price tag
  • Less sharp recording quality

Wireless: No
Megapixel: 3 MP
Illumination: 150 feet
PIR Range: 45.7 meters
Resolution: 3 MP
Video: 720p
Flash range: 150 feet
Trigger speed: 0.2 seconds

3. Spartan 4G LTE GoCam Verizon Wireless Trail Camera with Spartan Quick Aim Mount

trail camera on a white background

The Spartan GoCam is a great option if you want your images to be transmitted almost instantaneously. Rugged and capable of handling extreme temperatures, the Spartan GoCam is durable and covered by a two year warranty when purchased from a recognized seller.

The Spartan GoCam’s camouflage design helps this device to keep a low profile while keeping a vigilant eye on the trails! The GoCam comes with 4G Verizon service support allowing data to upload form the camera the moment it is captured.

With a much smaller trigger range and a slightly slower trigger time than some of the other entries, this device may not be the top of its class when compared to traditional trail cams. However, wireless service and quick data transfer makes the GoCam stand out.


What we liked

  • Verizon 4G service
  • GPS location update
  • USB support
  • Good network quality 
  • 8 MP camera sensor
  • Operable in different weather conditions
  • Robust design

What we didn’t like

  • Not best for night-time imaging
  • Not suitable for long-distance shoots
  • Slow trigger speed

Wireless: Cellular (Verizon)
Megapixel: 8 MP
Illumination: 100 feet
PIR Range: 30.5 meters
Resolution: 8 MP
Video: 720p
Flash range: 100 feet
Trigger speed: 1.2 seconds

4. Browning Dark Ops Pro XD Dual Lens Trail Camera

trail camera on a white background

The Pro XD Dark Ops night vision trail cameras by Browning come with a very powerful camera sensor of 24 MP and is more than capable of handling low-light and dark conditions.

For wildlife observation and research, the Pro XD is ideal thanks to its camouflage body and infrared flash which allows the camera to remain discreet.

With the dual-lens camera technology, this device ensures that it gathers as much light as possible and brings out the best in your photos.

This HD trail camera has a very fast trigger speed of 0.3 seconds and comes with good battery life as well.

According to Browning, the ProXD Dark Ops shoots in 1080 pixels providing clear and sharp images throughout the night. Amazon reviews, though largely positive, do dispute the image quality that Browning advertises. Some users find the actual images from this camera to be a slight disappointment. With more than 50% of its reviews coming in at five stars, though, the ProXD is obviously a satisfying tool for a majority of users. For the low price, this is a great buy and it is backed by a one year warranty in the case that the camera does not meet your expectations.


What we liked

  • 24 MP high-resolution camera
  • Camo finish 
  • Supports 512GB memory card
  • Good battery time
  • 80 feet infrared flash
  • 1080p video recording
  • Quick trigger speed
  • Image stamping available

What we didn’t like

  • No wireless connectivity 
  • There is no long-range recording available

Wireless: No
Megapixel: 24 MP
Illumination: 80 feet
PIR Range: 24.4 meters
Resolution: 24 MP
Video: 1080p
Flash range: 80 feet
Trigger speed: 0.3 seconds

5. Spypoint LINK-S Cellular Trail Camera

trail camera on a white background

The Link S by Spypoint is the best option available for a low maintenance trail camera that you can “set and forget.” The Link S is wireless and transmits data straight to your cellular phone. Furthermore, the Link S is solar powered, requiring minimal intervention form the user after it is set up.

The link S can detect motion at up to 100 feet of distance and is capable of triggering in just 0.7 seconds. This is slower than some of the other cams on this list, but still plenty fast enough to capture fast moving objects.

42 different IR LEDs make sure that the device can take shots even in dark conditions.

This trail camera also comes a back up battery which can last for up to ten months.


What we liked

  • 100 feet flash range
  • 12 MP camera sensor
  • Integrated solar panel
  • Long battery life
  • Blur reduction feature
  • Nighttime IR boost
  • Instantly send photos to your phone

What we didn’t like

  • 720p videos
  • Inbuilt recharger takes long to recharge the battery

Wireless: Cellular (Verizon and AT&T)
Megapixel: 12 MP
Illumination: 100 feet
PIR Range: 30.5 meters
Resolution: 12 MP
Video: 720p
Flash range: 100 feet
Trigger speed: 0.7 seconds

6. Browning Strike Force 850 Extreme Trail Camera

trail camera on a white background

The 850 Strike Force by Browning features a 16 MP camera sensor that comes with a longer infrared flash range of 100 feet. This trail cam shoots videos in 720p and provides clear video quality even in low light. For convenient documentation, the 850 Strike Force allows you to stamp your photos with the time, date, moon, or temperature.

The Browning 850 Strike Force trail camera can shoot up to 8 photos consecutively in burst mode and can support an SD card of up to 512GB.

The Strike Force has an impressively quick quick trigger speed of 0.4 seconds and the camera does a fine job reducing blur and producing images that are both clear and bright.

For general purposes, this trail camera delivers on all fronts and is a strong contender for a user friendly surveillance tool.


What we liked

  • 16 MP high-quality camera sensor
  • Supports up to 512 GB SD card
  • Burst mode can take up to 8 photos at a time
  • 720p high definition videos
  • Date, time, moon or temptress stamping
  • 100 feet flash range
  • Camo design

What we didn’t like

  • No wireless capabilities
  • Only suitable for short-range imaging

Wireless: No
Megapixel: 16 MP
Illumination: 100 feet
PIR Range: 30.5 meters
Resolution: 16 MP
Video: 720p
Flash range: 100 feet
Trigger speed: 0.4 seconds to 0.6 seconds

7. Spypoint FORCE-20 Ultra Compact Trail Camera

trail camera on a white background

The Ultra Force-20 by Spypoint is the best overall value for a wildlife trail camera on the market. The Ultra Force-20 is compact, affordable, and delivers shockingly high quality footage at a price that cannot be beat.

It comes with a 20MP camera sensor capable of capturing clear images in dim conditions.

This top rated trail camera also comes equipped with features like time-lapse, video mode, and multi-shot.

The Ultra Force-20 captures every bit of the action with a respectable trigger speed of just 0.7 seconds. While many of the tools on this list outpace the Ultra Force-20, none can match the quality that this product delivers at just under one hundred dollars.


What we liked

  • 20MP camera sensor
  • SD card supported
  • Quick trigger speed
  • Decent detection and flash range
  • Burst mode available
  • Time asps feature
  • High-quality IR

What we didn’t like

  • Only supports up to 16GB memory
  • Not for long-range imaging

Wireless: No
Megapixel: 20 MP
Illumination: 70 feet
PIR Range: 24.4 meters
Resolution: 20 MP
Video: 1080p
Flash range: 80 feet
Trigger speed: 0.7 seconds

8. Stealth Cam No-Glo Triad G42 Trail & Game Camera

trail camera on a white background

The Stealth No-Glo Triad G42 has many of the same virtues as the Ultra Force-20 and is similarly affordable considering the quality and precision that it delivers.

With blur reduction technology and a fast trigger time of just 0.5 seconds, the Stealth No-Glo Triad is perfect for watching the nocturnal activities of small animals on your favorite trails. The device is designed to be discreet so as not to alert animals to its presence.

The burst mode of these stealth trail cameras can take up to 9 photos at a time allowing you to capture high resolution shots of all of your trail cam’s visitors.

The camera also supports up to 32GB via an SD card slot.

While the visual quality of the Stealth Cam No-Glo Triad is really high for its price, some reviewers have complained that this product is not durable enough and may show undue amounts of wear after spending a few months outdoors. On average, though, users tend to rave about the value of this product.


What we liked

  • 12 MP camera with four different resolutions
  • Waterproof casing
  • 100 feet flash range
  • Blur reduction feature
  • Time-lapse (PIR override)
  • Fast trigger speed
  • Burst mode with up to 9 photos per trigger

What we didn’t like

  • Short battery life
  • No wireless connectivity
  • Seems to be less durable than competitors

Wireless: No
Megapixel: 12 MP
Illumination: 100 feet
PIR Range: 30.5 meters
Resolution: 12 MP
Video: 720p
Flash range: 100 feet
Trigger speed: 0.5 seconds

9. CuddeLink Long Range IR Trail Camera

trail camera on a white background

CuddeLink’s IR trail video camera is an extremely strong contender for the user interested in wireless trail cams. This product has quick reflexes and can trigger motion sensing at speeds of just .25 seconds.

Equipped with infrared, the Cuddelink takes high resolution photos, up to five at a time in burst mode, and is highly customizable to meet the needs of almost any user.

Durable, with a battery life of up to six months or ten thousand pictures, the Cuddelink has severaal available settings for different applications including “EZ,” “advanced,” and “surveillance.”

For a general reliable trail camera that is easy to use and trustworthy, the Cuddelink is an obvious choice.


What we liked

  • High-quality imaging with 20 MP camera
  • SD card supported
  • Quick to set up 
  • Can be apart of surveillance system
  • Compatible with CuddeLink cameras
  • Premium quality image sensor
  • Good trigger speed

What we didn’t like

  • Flash LEDs
  • Runs more expensive than some of the alternatives

Wireless: No
Megapixel: 20 MP
Illumination: 100 feet
PIR Range: 30.5 meters
Resolution: 20 MP
Video: 1080p
Flash range: 100 feet
Trigger speed: 0.25 seconds

10. Primos Low-Glow 10MP Proof Trail Camera

trail camera on a white background

The 10MP trail cam by Primos is specifically designed for night time applications and can be very useful for night time surveillance.

It is a lightweight camera with a rugged construction which boasts a trigger speed of 0.7 seconds and a shooting range of seventy feet.

The Primos Low-Glow is very affordable, but this tool really exemplifies the idea of “getting what you pay for.” The Primos Low-Glow’s customers often complain of defects, power failures, and cheap build quality.

For an absolute beginner, the low price of the Primos Low-Glow might outweigh the risk of dissatisfaction. For most users, though, spending just a few dozen dollars more is well worth the upgrade to purchase the Spypoint Ultra Force-20 or another more trustworthy trail camera instead.


What we liked

  • 10 MP camera sensor
  • Good trigger speed
  • 36 different blackout LEDs
  • All-black color for better camouflage
  • Time-lapse feature
  • Easy to set up
  • 9 months of battery life

What we didn’t like

  • Limited SD card support
  • Short-range shooting
  • Quality issues
  • Negative customer experiences

Wireless: No
Megapixel: 10 MP
Illumination: 70 feet
PIR Range: 21.35 meters
Resolution: 10 MP
Video: 720p
Flash range: 70 feet
Trigger speed: 0.7 seconds

11. Moultrie Game Spy Trail Camera

trail camera on a white background

The Game Spy by Moultrie is a minimalistic trail camera that keeps things nice and simple. Budget-friendly but sharp and vigilant, Moultrie’s Game Spy has a trigger speed of 0.5 seconds which makes this a great camera for watching wildlife.

The Moultrie Game Spy supports memory cards of up to 32 GB. With no frills and no complicated features, the Game Spy is noteworthy because of how easy it is to operate.

The Game Spy has a 26 megapixel resolution as well as an efficient power system which can take up to 19,000 pictures before requiring fresh batteries.


What we liked

  • Good budget option 
  • Image stamping available
  • The delayed shot feature is there too
  • Supports up to 32GB
  • Only requires 4 batteries to run
  • Simple to use 
  • 50 feet night time range 

What we didn’t like

  • Limited camera resolution
  • Only for shot range imaging
  • Simple is good, but lacks some of the selling points of other entries

Wireless: No
Megapixel: 5 MP
Illumination: 50 feet
PIR Range: 15.25 meters
Resolution: 5 MP
Video: 480p
Flash range: 0.5 seconds
Trigger speed: Less than 1 second

12. Spypoint Link-Evo Verizon Cellular Trail Camera

trail camera on a white background

The Link-Evo by Spypoint is a controversial wireless trail camera with almost the same amount of five star reviews as one star reviews. Obviously, the Link-Evo has some glaring consistency issues. Common complaints include rapid battery drain, poor image quality, and general dysfunction.

The wireless capabilities of the Link-Evo are very convenient, and for many users the camera quality is high enough to satisfy and even impress. For the slightly higher price tag of the Link-Evo, though, one would expect consistent quality, power efficiency, and customer enthusiasm.

The Link-Evo has a super fast trigger speed of just 0.3 seconds, allowing this trail cam to catch all of the action. Despite its negative reviews, the technical specifications of the Link-Evo are largely satisfactory. The issue, one must assume, is one of build quality.


What we liked

  • Verizon supported
  • 12 MP camera sensor
  • Quick to set up
  • Good picture quality
  • 0,3 trigger speed
  • Supports memory card up to 32 GB
  • Connects with your smartphone

What we didn’t like

  • Sometimes has inconsistent signal strength
  • Doesn’t come with a memory card

Wireless: Cellular (Verizon)
Megapixel: 12 MP
Illumination: 80 feet
PIR Range: 24.4 meters
Resolution: 12 MP
Video: 720p
Flash range: 80 feet
Trigger speed: 0.3 seconds

Types of Trail Cameras

There are different types of trail cameras. Some of them are beloved and trusted by consumers, whilst others are less popular or less consistent. In any case, here are some of the varieties of trail camera available.

Cellular

Cellular trail cameras are convenient and clever comes to long-range observation and surveillance. You don’t need to be around your camera because the device will send you images over the cellular network instantly. 

When you have a large territory to cover the low maintenance of a cellular trail camera might feel like the perfect solution. Issues with cellular service and weak signals can put a damper on the usefulness of cellular trail cams.

Wifi/Bluetooth

Some trail cameras also come with inbuilt Bluetooth or wifi capabilities. Bluetooth trail cameras come in handy if your cellular coverage is weak. Unfortunately, Bluetooth and wifi have short ranges and they also consume battery extremely fast.

Solar powered

Solar powered trail cameras obviously function better in the area that experiences a lot of sunlight throughout the year. If you live in an area that mostly sees cloud cover, then this feature may not be worth the fuss. In the right setting, though, solar powered trail cameras are extra low maintenance and convenient.

Infrared

Infrared or “IR” is a useful feature for cameras that are intended to capture images in darkness or dim light. No glow trail cameras use infrared technology to capture an image in the dark while maintaining a low profile and not startling wildlife. Most trail cameras have infrared, but users who only need daytime surveillance might get less utility out of this feature.

How do trail cameras work?

Motion activated trail cameras automatically take photos for you based on triggers caused by motion within the detection zone. These cameras can help you monitor territory from a distance and see skittish wildlife up close.

Trail cameras are self-contained units and most have the capability to shoot at night. A good trail cam should also have enough power backup as well as data storage to work independently. Once a person or an animal enters within the detection zone, a video or a photo is taken. How this process works varies depending upon the camera as well as user customization.

Trail cameras are often used for wildlife observation and hunting, but they can also be useful for scientific research and surveillance in general.

As mentioned above, some trail cameras transmit the data that they record o your cellular phone or another device. This can be done through wireless cell service or through Bluetooth or wifi.

How to program a trail camera?

Programming your trail camera should ideally be quite simple. Be sure to read the instruction manual for your particular camera.

  • First, you must prepare your trail camera for initial use. Configure all the settings on your camera. Charge the batteries, insert the SD card, and customize all the settings according to your needs. This may include trigger frequency, speed, and timer.
  • If you have a cellular or wifi game cam, then ensure that the device is receiving full signals. With weak signals, there will be a lack of communication, and it will also drain your camera’s battery very fast. 
  • Decide how you are going to place and use your camera. Test your angles and ensure that the camera is properly mounted
  • Keep your video game cameras safe from the external elements. You can also contact your insurance provider and ask for safety details associated with your camera. 
  • Make sure that you invest in quality mounting equipment that will keep your device safe. 
  • Also, be sure to check your device regularly and see if it requires maintenance or not. For longevity, this step is mandatory.

How to choose the best trail camera?

There are various features that you need to consider when buying a good quality trail camera. Your specific needs as a user are also important considerations. Some cameras are more hands off than others.

Field of vision

Different manufacturers provide information on their cameras based on different units when they talk about the field of view or FoV. Some of them measure it in the distance while others measure it in angles that you can convert to distance. 

With a larger FoV, your camera can capture a wider area and you will get a bigger image. But you need to keep in mind that cameras with high magnification tend to have smaller FoVs as a result.

At longer ranges, high magnification is likely more important than FoV, while users in general might prefer a nice wide view.

Detection range

Detection range is how far your camera can detect an animal or an individual from a particular point. For surveillance purposes, it is an important feature, especially if you are trying to ID a trespasser. 

For wildlife observers, a high detection range can also help with identifying an animal in the dark. Anything around 100 feet should be satisfactory for almost all applications.

Resolution

For a better and clearer image, you need to invest in a camera that produces high resolution images and videos. For eye-catching detail 1080 pixels are usually enough, but trail cameras rarely feature resolution this high without a high price to match.

720p is a good bet if you are looking to balance quality and affordability.

Trigger speed

Quick trigger speed is essential for both wildlife and surveillance purposes. A camera is not useful if it takes so long to activate that the subject has already disappeared. For a decent trail camera, anything from 0.2 to 0.7 seconds is a good range for trigger speed.

Flash

There are different types of flash technologies used by manufacturers. Some of them go with the conventional bright LEDs for flash while others go for low-glow LEDs that are good for laying low and not scaring away the target.

Memory cards vs. cellular plans

Some cameras function using a cellular plan instead of a memory card

Managing your trail camera memory card is usually not so tedious that one must avoid it, but if your camera can send photos to your phone or computer directly, then this feature offers an obvious added bit of convenience.

This is especially true for cameras that are set up in remote locations or covering a broad swathe of territory.

For low maintenance and long-distance interaction with your camera, a cellular trail camera is a no-brainer. But when you are working within a short-range and can access your trail camera easily, then a memory card is unlikely to be an issue.

Battery

Most of these trail cameras come with good battery life and they can last anywhere from 8 months to 10 months on a new pack of batteries. Some cellular, wifi, and Bluetooth enabled trail cameras drain their batteries much faster,

How many trail cameras do you need?

All users have different needs. For a hunter looking to track deer, a camera for every ten acres of land should be enough. For a researcher looking to track behaviors throughout a vast region, many cameras might be needed. For the curious nature lover who just wants to learn about the wildlife that passes by their home, one camera is plenty.

Top rated game and trail camera brands

Many of the brands who manufacture trail cameras have appeared on this list more than just once. The general quality of a manufacturer can be a useful clue that points to the quality of their individual products.

Browning

Browning is one of the top brands when it comes to arms and hunting. It came into being back in 1878 and since then, it has been dealing in firearms, shooting, and hunting gear and accessories. 

It is one of the oldest brands in the country when it comes to outdoor hunting and shooting gear. Browning trail cameras are the best for their resilience and performance.

Moultrie

Moultrie is one of the true specialists of trail cameras in the market and they are well known for their quality products. The company started its business back in 1981 and since then it has been regularly producing products that are best in the business. 

Reconyx

You might not have heard of Reconyx, especially if you are new to trail cameras and optics, but the company has come leaps and bounds since its foundationin 2002. When it comes to trail and game cameras, the quality that Reconyx can produce is noteworthy. 

Spypoint

Spypoint is another brand that came into existence not very long along but has made immense progress in the field of trail cameras and gear. Since 2004, the company has introduced several trail cameras that are worth every penny. 

Spartan

Spartan is another new brand in the field of trail cameras and it entered the market back in 2014. But if you are looking for a robust outdoor trail camera suitable for various applications, then Spartan is a strong contender.

Stealth Cam

Stealth Cam is best when it comes to versatility. The brand has a full range of trail cameras designed to meet various demands. Whether you are a hunter, a wildlife researcher, or an outdoorsy, Stealth Cam has something that fits. Some of Stealth Cam’s products have been the subject of mixed reviews.

CuddeLink

For the best scouting cameras, CuddeLink is a definite stand out. Cellular trail cameras are truly a blessing for users who need to cover a wide area. CuddeLink offers great reception and coverage and can handle multiple trail cameras in a network.

Primos

Primos is one of the major brands of hunting and outdoor gear. The brand specializes in hunting calls but also has a list of sub-brands under its umbrella. This is one of the true pioneers of the hunting and outdoor gear world. Unfortunately, some of Primos’s trail cameras do seem to have quality control issues.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best affordable trail camera?

Ultra Force-20 by Spypoint is the best overall value for a wildlife trail camera on the market. The Ultra Force-20 is compact, affordable, and delivers shockingly high quality footage at a price that cannot be beat.

What is the best cellular trail camera for the money?

CuddeLink’s IR trail camera has a wide array of useful features at a price that is, while not as affordable as other entries, completely reflective of this product’s high quality.

What is the best trail camera for night pictures?

The Stealth Ultra Trail Cam is the best trail camera for night pictures. It has a large 30 MP sensor that can gather as much light as possible to provide you with clear images in dark and gloomy conditions. 

What is the easiest trail camera to use?

The easiest trail camera to use is the Moultrie MCG-12597 Game Spy, as it is almost as easy as the plug-and-play setup process. 

What should I look for when buying a trail camera?

When buying a trail camera, you need to look for a camera sensor, resolution, IR features, and detection range to make sure that you are getting the best product that meets your needs. Brand trustworthiness is another quality to consider.

What is the most reliable trail camera?

The most reliable trail camera is the Spypoint Force-20 Ultra. It is rugged, durable, and very easy on the budget.

How much is a cellular plan for a trail camera?

On average, for an Economy data trail camera package, you will get 1500 thumbnails for $9.99 a month. With a Basic data plan, you will get 3000 thumbnails for $19.99 a month. For a Deluxe package, you will have to pay $29.99 per month for 7000 thumbnails. 

Are Campark trail cameras any good?

Campark trail cameras are good for night shots because they come with three different passive IR sensors. For hunting, scouting, and night time observations, Campark trail cameras are a useful tool and a good choice.

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